Kane Williamson scored 111 not out to lift New Zealand to 247-5 at lunch on day three in Dunedin.
The game at the University of Otago remains evenly poised. While the Proteas took two New Zealand wickets in the first session, the Black Caps will be encouraged by the fact that Williamson survived the initial onslaught. The hosts now trail South Africa by 61 runs with five wickets still in hand.
Jeetan Patel did a fine job as nightwatchman late on day two. In the third over on day three, he was out flashing at a full delivery by Vernon Philander. Standing at second slip, Faf du Plessis palmed the ball upwards before taking the catch on his second attempt.
Morné Morkel was fortunate to pick up the wicket of Jimmy Neesham shortly before the drinks break. The delivery was a beauty and Quinton de Kock made no mistake in pouching a regulation catch. The legality of the delivery, however, was called into question when replays showed Morkel overstepping the crease. Despite the video evidence, the umpires ruled that the delivery as fair and Neesham had to walk.
New Zealand scored 22 runs for the loss of two wickets during the first hour of play. The hosts attempted to up the scoring rate in the second. BJ Whatling survived an lbw shout when a review showed a Keshav Maharaj delivery travelling over the stumps.
When Williamson was on 99, Du Plessis made the questionable decision to bring JP Duminy into the attack. The off-spinner started his spell with an innocuous delivery that Williamson helped to fine leg. That comfortable single brought up the Black Caps skipper’s 16th Test century.
New Zealand have been boosted by Williamson’s ton, as well as the news that Ross Taylor will bat in this Test if required. The veteran batsman sustained a calf injury late on day two. Subsequent scans have revealed a lower grade tear, and the upshot is that Taylor may feature later in the first innings.
SA 308 (1st innings) – Dean Elgar 140, Temba Bavuma 64, Trent Boult 4-64, Neil Wagner 3-88
NZ 247-5 (1st innings) – Kane Williamson 111 not out, Jeet Raval 52, Vernon Philander 2-43, Keshav Maharaj 2-76
New Zealand trail by 61 runs
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